DISCOVER LAFAYETTE'S HOMELAND!
Among several castles that are part of the beauty and History of AUVERGNE, one is surely not to be missed: the home-castle of Marshal Lafayette (who helped the United States of America gain its independance) in Chavaniac: "Chavaniac for me is a temple gathering the objects that are sacred in my heart" - Lafayette
Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, better known as Marquis de Lafayette, was born on the 6th of September 1757 in the Château de Chavaniac (Haute Loire, Auvergne). Orphaned at the age of 13, this young noble descended from an illustrious Auvergnois family. He managed a long and illustrious career, remaining for the posterity the Hero of the American war of Independence. However, one should not forget that he also remains an iconic figure of French revolutions in 1789 and 1830. He fought in respect of his beliefs, defending freedom throughout his life. As a result, he turned out to be a rare and engaging politician.
A Voyage in AUVERGNE should include a visit to Château de Chavaniac-Lafayette. Today Lafayette's spirit and heart are more than ever present in his former home where voices will take you back through time and lights will guide you right into the heart of the castle: the bedroom where the Marquis was born in 1757.
During the visit, you will be invited to penetrate into the secret world of Freemasonry to which Lafayette was loyal throughout his life. In the XVIII century gallery, the philosophers of his age express their views on the fight against slavery; a theme dear to Lafayette. Then, this is the salon of Madame de Lafayette. This salon, also called Chavaniac's green study, was a room in which to receive the "society". Under your feet: a magnificent "Versailles" parquet floor dating back to the 18th Century, and on the wall we may notice up to 14 wallpaper panels created around 1790 in Paris by the "manufacture Reveillon".
At the end, in the small XVIII century style theater, you will be shown a movie where his wife Adrienne tells the epic tale of the General in America and his struggle to free the people of the New World from the oppression of England.
While exiting the castle, the park's visit begins on a small terrace. Its balcony, shaded by linden trees, offers visitors an unobstructed view of the park. Surrounding it, lilac, honeysuckle, hawthorn and mock orange flower abundantly among the colorful foliage of barberry trees, dogwood trees, smoke trees and bladder-senna. A most peaceful promenade after a visit of the castle.
NEXT WEEK, HOW ABOUT CLIMBING PUY MARY, "GRAND SITE DE FRANCE" ?
After a cultural visit, let’s take you next week up to Puy Mary, listed as a "Grand Site de France" for a nature expedition. From this amazing volcanic pyramid, no doubt you will enjoy one of Auvergne's finest views!